Tuesday, 29 April 2003

Feedback

yesterday’s poetry feedback group was less than helpful in most ways, but more than helpful in one major way. My writing, and diction, needs to change unless i want to alienate readers and have them dismiss my work. apparently, and i can see this quite easily, my terminology is a bit archaic, people can’t get their head around my language constructions, and therefore cannot grasp my intent.

i also, and this is equally important, and from my own realizations, need to come up with topics to write about that aren’t quite so cerebral. i think i often use poetry as a form to speak on whatever has been cogitating in the ole noggin. perhaps instead of taking something abstract and putting it into tangible perhaps I should get my hands in the clay before creating the pot.

thus, i must change, in order to reach readers i have to be able to create the scene with contemporary language. this presents a problem for me because i have trouble making images and situations sound fresh and when i try to spice things up i inevitably get a bit old-fashioned. i need to figure out how to direct myself toward the future or tap into the present instead of using the past as my recourse. how do i do this?

Sunday, 27 April 2003

Hindenberg

sometimes i worry that people will think i’m a poser because i am just interested enough in something to find out a bit about it, engage myself within it, and ride for a bit. then, when questioned upon said something i cannot satisfy that person’s requirements of knowledge and failure ensues. both of us fail, i fail to satisfy and they fail because they assume and label me incorrectly. then they fail because they think i am a poser when i am really not trying to be anything at all. apparently i have an apathy on the order of the hindenberg to actually become anything. either that or i’m happy being me. sometimes i think they are the same thing.

Friday, 25 April 2003

Sophomore Year 2001-2002

this year was my second best in college, mostly due to being on the fencing team, which let me expel my – excess – energies. i also declared my majors, Anthropology and Film & Television, and got firmly into the swing of my classes. First semester I got a pity D in my Classical Greek 103 class mostly because I was one of three undergraduates in a class of graduate theology students, thus the professor structured the class toward them and did not realize it until it was too late for myself and another undergrad. The third undergrad had taken Greek in High School and was the best in class at translating the Iliad.

I took an existentialist philosophy class, and really got into that for awhile. I saw myself as an existentialist of the Albert Camus school, except instead of being automatic in my life of absurdity, i laughed along with it.Thus, when the campus sprinklers would turn on and spray me, i could do nothing more than shake a rueful head. some things (the sprinklers for instance) never change.

i still lived in section 4B, and it was great to have a group of freshmen in the section. We told them to do things and they did them. hehe. I also made a good friend out of Jeremy May, a new guy in 4B but a senior, who lived at the end of the hall. Through, him I also became friends with Steve Luke who spent inordinate amounts of time in my room playing Playstation (46 hours in one week that we kept track of).

Rooming with Mike was pretty darn good, apart from his taste in music which i thought rather tasteless. Our room was the common room for much of the section and it would not surprise either of us to come back from classes and find someone else in the room doing something (usually steve).

the football season was much better than the previous year, we were 9-2 and went to the Fiesta Bowl, a debacle where we were beaten to death by Beavers from Oregon State. On the fencing end of my sports life, i was working my tail off, coming in early and doing drills, begging for lessons, etc. I began to improve slowly, and my big break came when my captain Jan had to be in Cuba for a fencing tournament the same weekend of one of our tourneys at Northwestern. Thus, I got to travel, I did relatively well for my first collegiate fencing experience and by the end of the year I had managed to win enough bouts to monogram, a feat I was told was impressive for first year walkons. (PUFF PUFF EGO PUFF PUFF)

my love life sucked, but i also wasn’t trying that hard. I was sexiled for a 17 hour stretch one evening/night/morning by my roommate who let his girlfriend “accidentally” sleep past visiting hours and then told her she would have to spend the night. I spent the night on a couch in the section lounge. I then wrote about this in Harlem’s Hitlist, the vulgar section newsletter i wrote for the section in place of the incredibly sporadic ‘Roos News. This newsletter, quite harmless really, picked on particular people in the section each week, but the person picked on was always in good humor about it. except the RA, he took it upon himself, and also the rector, who happened to read my most offensive version to tell me to cease and desist, i instead took it underground and distributed it via email. i cannot be stopped.

I finally managed to get into the introductory film course, second semester of my sophomore year, after jumping through flaming hoops and wading through piranha infested waters. i had declared as a major yet they (the department) still would not give me a spot. I eventually got a spot through the general registration period, but because of the Film department’s extreme helpfulness, I was two semesters behind and therefore I was never able to take Advanced Film Production or Pro Video Production.

Thus endeth the year of the half-wise.

Wednesday, 23 April 2003

Freshman Year 1999-2001

This is supposed to be the toughest year of college, and in terms of intellectual growth that rings true. Although personal/social growth would also top this list if not for my Junior year. That comes later however.

I suppose I was a bit scared about going to college and living in an 8′ x 14′ room with someone I had never met before and sharing another room with two other people I had never met before. Actually, perhaps I was quite scared, or even terrified. Needless to say, my lifestyle was not suited to that of my roommates. I did not have a fake ID, nor did I drink. at all. I also liked my sleep, 8 hours if I could get it. My roommate Mike Lane and my other quadmates John Antonucci and Paul Buser were all business majors, whilst I was an Arts & Letters major. Business majors have it easiest here at Notre Dame in regard to class difficulty and course work (with the possible exception of the Sociology Dept.) and they would often throw impromptu parties 2 or 3 times a week. On nights when they didn’t have parties they often went to the Boat Club and stumbled back usually at 5 in the morning. This happened pretty much the whole year.

On top of this, my roommate, who drank at least 5 times a week, and skipped most of his classes most of the time sleeping off the alcohol managed to swing a 4.0 his first semster, while I struggled with chemistry and calculus and got a 2.7.

As for the other freshmen in my section I was the only A&L major. 14 total freshmen, 3 pre-med, 1 engineering, 1 A&L, and 9 business majors. The upperclassmen consisted to a great majority of sophomores who were nice but had their own things to do, some juniors who I never even talked to, and a group of seniors who I owe quite a bit to.

The football games took a bit of getting used to, but here I knew what to do, hiding in plain sight covered in blue and gold body paint with a bright blue wig. The seats were in the corner as is usual for freshmen, but we were also the heart from whence all spirit was pumped. Bob Davie was the unfortunate coach at this time. He sucks. The tailgating before the games was not great fun however, drinking drinking drinking everywhere. Was there nothing else to do at ND?

I struggled with this, even to the point of considering a transfer to a state school where it was easier to get off campus, where many off campus places are geared toward the students and to where I wouldn’t feel as pressured to drink, and to where the gender relations would be something approaching normal for college students. Apparently, that didn’t happen – although perhaps it did in an alternate universe.

The seniors Jes s Morales, Liam Thidemann, and AJ Boyd, and my RA Joe Hyder had a great deal to do with pulling me out of my shell. There was this nasty concoction that the DH would serve about once every two weeks called Toad-In-The-Hole. I will not describe it suffice to say it was horrendous. Each time it was served I would smuggle out one more than the last time and present them to my RA in creative ways (ex: The Blair Toad Project). He had no idea who it was until someone snitched. But it was all in good fun. The seniors who deshelled me to some extent did so when one day Jes s noticed that I had a Magic deck. He also played. and from there it was downhill.

We started playing magic, which led to Starcraft, which led to me allowing them to set me up for the Chariot Race dance. Which led to me meeting Brian Johnsen. Which led me to meeting Brian Stone, who when I expressed an interest in learning to fence agreed to teach me to do so, as he was the assistant coach of the fencing team. So its a good thing I played Magic or I would be a totally different person today.

I also made a friend from out east named Abby. I met her through AIM and she came out to visit me on her spring break and I reciprocated once the school year ended. I last spoke with her during this last summer but perhaps she still reads this.

Other notable things that happened my freshman year: I saw the Smashing Pumpkins for the first time at Purdue University where I visited my friends Brian Rose, David Ledman, and Bo Ledman and met his soon to be wife Kerri. I lost my virginity. I learned what a glorious thing Stolichnaya vodka can be. I made friends with Meagan Call. I downloaded my first mp3 using Napster. I decided to be roommates in a double (glorious! more room!) with the lone engineer in the section, Mike Castorano. I successfully walked on to the Notre Dame Fencing Team. I ate at both Bibler’s Pancake House and CJ’s Pub in the same day.

Tuesday, 22 April 2003

Fencing Video

instead of writing one of my 4 papers, yesterday was spent logging, capturing, and editing my tribute to the 2002-2003 National Champions: The Notre Dame Fencing Team. Not only was it fun to get back behind an editing utility, i also got to be a bit nostalgic over the days in HS when i would make music videos for various sports upcoming tournaments. i’m not going to post a link to the video because some of you schmoes who read this are on the fencing team. NO PEEKING!

in the next two weeks i’m going to recap my various years here at ND. they posts will probably be long and uninteresting. as opposed to the typical short and uninteresting.

Monday, 21 April 2003

Easter Weekend

as usual i accomplished little enough this easter weekend, but hopefully i will get significantly more done today. i finally get to do some video editing after a hiatus of a few months. unfortunately i have a fencing reception in the rotunda of the main building right smack dab in the middle of the 6 hour slot that the lab is open. that kinda blows. i had two banquets last week and three more coming up on the 29th, 30th, and 1st. craziness. with all this food eating i wonder if i will have time to write my papers.